The Neighborhood that was???? Landlords ,Banks and Business

June 18, 2012 at 10:57 pm 30 comments

Oh dear! it doesn’t seem that I will ever get back to our schedule of house moving and Lorain’s home history mystery .
It seems I have to stop reading the papers ( on-line) if I want a quiet life. Although maybe I should look into getting that team of oxen the only way I will get to move………. won’t be able to sell this old house for what I owe on it- Sorry Lorain National Bank talk to your fellow banking buddies over at First Federal of Lorain for the reason.

Kent Sutton one of the founders of theLake Erie Landlords Association ( and quite the political contributor actually helped stop the 100 per cent garbage pick up in Lorain) is up for an award- Most influential ( what??)

MOST INFLUENTIAL: Kent Sutton surprised by nomination

I read the article noting that his name had come across my computer screen a lot lately as I have tracked down addresses in Lorain where the criminal element had been renting and who owned the properties. It stands to reason that Mr. Sutton and Sutton rentals that came in over 60 rentals on just the two quick searches Kent Sutton and Sutton Rentals LLC., and then there were those 77 owned by KTS Enterprises

Oh my ! With that many properties the chances are that more than one miscreant would find a “home” in one of his properties.

The same with Mr. George Schneider and his over 160 properties or how about Deborah Akin and a quick search of the auditors site in her name only 29 properties and remember the those murderous gang lords the police have been tracking down well close to home here at 1026 Brownell –

Randy Glover pleaded guilty-

Glover, along with 21 other suspected gang members of Member of Blood or Money or Bitches gang…..He also pleaded guilty to earlier charges of two counts of felonious assault, having a weapon under disability, obstructing official business and two different counts of burglary……….Police believe the gang is responsible for nine of the last 12 murders in the city in the past four years and other violent crimes including home invasions, shootings, intimidation and drug trafficking.

How did that background check work out for you Deborah? I know how it worked out for my neighborhood.

Ok! it isn’t all the landlords fault they are in it for the business and banks are making business great in the rental market.

Let us take 1121 W 4th– the house has been foreclosed upon twice in recent years. A landlords group did purchase and fix it up a few years ago thankfully- First Federal of Lorain held the mortgage. Apparently that didn’t work out too well and three years ago everyone left and the house has sat empty. First Federal of Lorain maintained the grass and checked on the property every so often.

Oh we, the neighbors,( what is left of us) tried to keep an eye on it as best we could- just the other day stopped aluminum shed from being ripped off but not before they had destroyed it.

The house went up for Sheriff’s auction in May and was purchased back by First Federal of Lorain for $28,000 ( see Lorain County Auditors site) – this house was purchased after the lot was split in the early 2000’s for 80 thousand dollars up from the 54,000 the “property developer” paid for the two houses on this lot.

They were split into 33 foot lots ( not a good idea) and the other little house that was on the original lot is scheduled for demolition after it too had been foreclosed upon and a tree fell on it – once again the mortgage company was First Federal of Lorain

Just a few hours ago I saw the real estate chap whom I had dealings with earlier in the property’s history with clients over at this house at 1121 West 4th

What is happening I asked

Oh we are looking at the house First Federal will sell it for 13,000 , wiring been stripped out etc.- but not a bad deal.

No not a bad deal??? the property has lost $15,000 in a month! Now I maybe dense but I want to know what this wonderful business deal is doing to the market value left of my property. Makes me wonder especially when Mr. Sutton of Lake Erie Landlords fame also pronounces

“We simply assure housing providers that they are running a business not like any other business,” Sutton said. “The housing should be kept up to some condition of the neighborhood.”


Well sorry Mr. Sutton, but the unhealthy conditions in my neighborhood are through thinking just like that and banks dumping their unwanted on my “property doorstep’!!!

Yup! you and others like you who follow that thinking and business plan are certainly INFLUENTIAL in my neighborhood!!!

Lorain is being prostituted in my opinion by those who see her as a “business deal” and pass her housing around like some old worthless slut. And so goes the neighborhood………..

2010 census report

3615 – vacant
1642 vacant for rent
57 rented but not occupied

557 for sale
159 sold but not occupied
83 for occasional use/ temp housing
1,110 – all other vacant – abandoned


Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Brit take, Charleston Village, city of lorain, commentary, hell is other people, notorious opponents of exactitude. Tags: , , , , , , .

“Father’s Day” 2012 – garden of gifts- and undying love – Chris Ritchey These Old Houses are talking- are we listening?

30 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gramster1  |  June 20, 2012 at 12:31 am

    With all the data you have been able to find (and you a commoner), you’d think that the p.t.b. would know the same stuff. And yet, they want to raise the income taxes of those trying to OWN their homes and property and keep it in a valuable state. You have to wonder where their heads are?!? Oh, I forgot, so many of them live somewhere else so it really doesn’t matter as long as they get that pay check.

  • 2. joe smith  |  June 20, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Loraine a commoner? Gramster when she suceeds and takes us with her we’ll all be royalty

  • 3. gramster1  |  June 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Commoner was meant as a compliment, as a term of endearment rather than being one of those who are supposedly in charge of situations in the city. If an “everywoman” can find the data, you would think that the powers that be would also know those facts. If an “everywoman” can put the facts together, who can’t those with the “education”?? do the same and then “fix” the situation?????

    Definitely meant as a positive comment regarding Loraine and her standing in our city and world. She stands above those supposedly in the know.

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 20, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Hey I don’t know I am told I am a “ROYAL PAIN in the ARSE!!!! 🙂 already

    The difference between us ( me ) and the PTB is the “desire” to know the information .because if they truly understood the situation they might have to really do something ……

  • 5. Brian  |  June 20, 2012 at 11:32 am

    While there are some points of your article that have some validity, there is also something very valid about what Mr. Sutton stated. The house next to yours has been abandoned. Calling it vacant is a gentle term, but like much of the housing in Lorain, it is EMPTY.

    The county gets the sales tax and some of the property taxes, schools get property taxes, and the cities get income taxes. Lorain’s general fund budget is highly supported by income taxes. When a house is abandoned, who should take care of it?

    Even though the abandoned house has no income tax paying residents in it, the schools and county are still gonna get their tax dollars from the abandoned house. While I didn’t post this info to suggest that others should be taking care of the housing in our city, I just wanted to point out where the dollars are going. Since the city gets little money in property taxes, I do support the county land bank. That was a silly idea that I brought up years ago on WOM.

    “The housing should be kept up to the same condition of the neighborhood” is not unrealistic. Let’s talk about that.

    The house that has been abandoned next to yours. Why is it empty? Is it the landlords fault? Is it the banks? Is it the fault of businesses? You can point fingers all day long, but the reason why it is empty is because of the biggest three rules in real estate. Location, Location, and Location.

    The home is in Lorain and the Lorain City School district. That for most home buyers is two strikes against it. The past policies of these two governmental entities are much to blame for their perceptions by the public. Let’s talk about that for a second.

    Lorain’s schools rank at the bottom of achievement compared to other school districts in the state of Ohio. While some may try to spin it, shift it, or flat out deny it, it’s a fact. That alone is a huge reason why families with children who would pay income taxes do not want to move to Lorain. When taxpayers leave the city and are not replaced with working class families, the cities looses that tax money. They also loose the economic impact and the jobs that were here at one time where these families spent their disposable incomes at local businesses.

    Lets remove the schools from the discussion for a second. The city of Lorain already collects 2% of everyone’s paychecks, higher than every other city in the county but provides the lowest quality of life services compared to other cities that are around us. While industry and their tax dollars left our city many years ago, the city has fallen way way way way way way way way way below what other cities that are around us provide as far as the most basic of services. It is laughable to an outsider when the biggest news is that the city cannot cut its own grass but charges residents $300.00 to cut someone else’s grass. It is like the city wants the residents to do what they want them to, but doesn’t follow the same standard that it tries to enforce.

    Look at all the red topped fire hydrants and the condition of the roads and compare them to any surrounding city. That is what paying the highest income taxes have gotten us. This along with some other issues have greatly contributed to the demise of our neighborhoods, which affects people wanting to buy homes in our city.

    So, if we were to compare the housing in our neighborhoods to the condition of the schools and the condition of the city, the housing stock is no better or worse.

  • 6. Brian  |  June 20, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Here is an example of how low the “standards” are in Lorain.

    ““We’re lucky there were no kids (around),” Palmer said. ”

    “Last fall, she and a few neighbors called the fire department and city, reporting the tree which had several large holes in it, as a possible danger, according to Palmer.”

    ““They (the fire department) said it was unsafe,” she said. Firefighters placed caution tape around the tree to keep people away from it, but a member of the city street department came shortly after, ripped the tape off and claimed the tree was fine.”

  • 7. joe smith  |  June 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I understand Gramster…..the word is ‘secede’…..:-)

  • 8. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 20, 2012 at 11:52 am

    the house next door was and is the little brown house pictured – I wrote about that house on WoM what 6 years ago and how blight happens .the owners of that house used and abused it got what they could out of it and when the “tax” benefits they got moved it on to the next “pimp” sorry but that is how I see the “landlords that owned this house in the past 30 odd years” they barely even painted after the intital cosmentic fix by the two original owners of 35 years ago.

    I documented her plight- section 8 at one time did they ever come out to see what their “clients” were living in no.

    Ok Joe will remeber standing in that basement during an inspection called by one of the renters 🙂

    bottom line is that the banks have some culpability in all this as this house changed hands and actually the blue house because they lent money to people ( even those locally- I would check and see how many First Federal properties ( there were two more that I personally know of on my block) that went the same way from that bank. I know that personally becasue I called them about the rats and the grass .

    Now I know that First Federal does a lot of good in the community but I am not sure their decisions as mortgage holders in this old neighborhood have had a positive influence .

    When the tree fell on the house I contacted the “owner” in Vermilion I might add he said ” I walked away from it – I got what I could- more than it is worth- the bank can have it.”… and the bank did – he abandoned that house and this neighborhood.

    The bank foreclosed , the tree broke the back of the house which was already compromised- it sis scehduled for demolition…

    Mr. Sutton and friends are a business they said so – so let us license the businesses of rentals ( since it seems to be Lorain’s most profitable business” and tougher inspections ( Oh Dear there is me living in a dream world again) but the bottom line is Sutton doesn’ choose which neighbor hoods meet some condition and use the neighborhood as a “bar” the homes should meet LORAIN’S codes not his ……..

  • 9. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    hm guess how many “owners” of that property were city employees and how many worked for the schools 🙂 ahhhh another tale by which to hang ……..

  • 10. Brian  |  June 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Ok, I think I see where you are looking at this from. I have two questions to ask, and I am interested what answers are going to be given.

    “What is the differance between a rental house in Lorain, and one in Elyria?” and “What is the differance Between a rental house in Lorain and one in Avon”?

  • 11. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Honestly Brian I haven’t been to Elyria in a long time ….years…. how about that so I don’t even know what Elyria is like .

    Also Avon…. the only place I go is Heinens and World Market but I would think the rentals in Avon are more “up- market ” and he mortgages were not the Fanny Mae type that became a glut here and banks lending to people they had no business lending to and then dumping the crap out there for a song….. and knowing a couple of people in Avon who have had dealings with their building dept their codes are strictly enforced…….

    take a look at Lakewood and what is not acceptable there geesh those same houses in Lorain would be considered “up market” …but nothing I can do except watch …like you …. the deterioration from my window and know that since I am at the end of my time on this planet someone else can fight for change….. me I just “chronicle the crap”

  • 12. Brian  |  June 21, 2012 at 2:45 am

    try again… 🙂

  • 13. Brian  |  June 21, 2012 at 11:19 am

    There is an obvious difference between the rental housing in Lorain compared to Elyria and Avon. It differs from other communities also, but for the sake of this discussion, I am hoping to get a few more responses from others before I answer.

  • 14. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 21, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I don’t think you will get too many responses, if any, Brian as most of this blogs readership is outside Lorain only 20 percent or so of the daily readership is local… but our “fame is nationwide and international” …. but I will be doing a follow up on another history house that has been abused and is abusing the neighborhood that was tipped for the National Registry……. as per the “landlords post ” seem these old walls are talking …;) Maybe the rest of the country and state can learn by our mistakes

  • […] I wondered in my previous post whether I would ever get back to Lorain’s history. […]

  • 16. Brian  |  June 23, 2012 at 11:31 am

    The difference between renting a three bedroom house in Lorain and Elyria is about $80 to a hundred dollars a month. (That’s about a thousand dollars a year in a core housing costs) The difference between Lorain and Avon is about $150 to $200.00 a month, or upwards to 2500 dollars more a year to live there.

    What does that information represent? The housing economy and how all things are relative.

    Working people and families will spend more of their incomes to live in these other communities. Why? Their school systems are perceived to be better and the services that are offered in those communities are balanced to what they pay.

    Lorain has a lot of housing. Cheap housing. You can’t use the term inexpensive housing because housing is relative to perceptions of quality of life. It is a “bundle of items” that residents pay for when looking for a place to live. Because a house is CONNECTED to the the city, the schools, and the neighborhood, those connections are more relative to the “value” of the housing than the actual house itself.

    I believe that one of the largest issues with improving Lorains housing is our school system. People with families considering renting or buying a home want good to excellent schools. It has nothing to do with the job market because just about every working person has a car and will commute from their home to work.

    Secondarily. The physical condition of the city and the services that it provides is relative to where people want to live and INVEST in making their homes. While city building inspectors go up and down streets and cite PROPERTY OWNERS about the physical conditions of their properties, who is going to cite the city about the condition of its infrastructure, the crumbled roads, and uncut grass? It’s a double standard, one for the people, and another for the city itself and there is NOTHING that a residents can do about it but to MOVE AWAY FROM IT.

    GOD SAVE THE QUEEN because the city wants the residents to bow before it!

    The rental market does not make fire hydrants quit working. A water bill is the same for a homeowner and a tenant. The storm and sewer charges are also the same. So while our city is embarking to build a 65.87 million dollar tunnel under the river, ,
    had that money been spent taking care of what was already here, the city wouldn’t have had to built a god awful tunnel under the river to hold shit water. That money is spent now. Instead of water under the bridge, it’s shit under the river.

    The same thing holds true with out streets, parks, and the facilities that our city uses to provide services. The physical structures, or housing had nothing to do with why our city is in the mess that it is in. The houses are basically the same. You even mention this in one of your comments Loraine. “Take a look at Lakewood and what is not acceptable there geesh those same houses in Lorain would be considered “up market”.

    This is where Mr. Suttons comment makes all the sense in the world. The condition of the housing is relative to the condition of the neighborhood. IT ISN’T THE OTHER WAY AROUND like you would like the answer to be because the condition of the neighborhood dictates who is going to live in that neighborhood and the housing.

    The housing MARKET dictates who moves where. Location, location, location.

    People that want good schools and services for their families will move to where they can get that service. They OWN CARS, sometimes TWO!!!!!!

    Therefore, the folks that move to Lorain are the ones who are LESS CONCERNED about the condition of the schools, what the roads look like, or what city services they receive because they PAY the MARKET rent that is based more upon the condition of the schools, the city, and the neighborhoods.

    So, where does that put Lorain? We get “the bottom of the barrel”. I am in no way trying to label the poorer residents that live here, but Lorain is the city of last resort. If a prospective family is out looking for a place to live, compare choosing cities to live in like picking teams. Every other city that surrounds us picks up the better players first and Lorain gets whoever doesn’t get chosen.

  • 17. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    And thanks to the plethora of social service agencies we are an attractions Lorain is a “destination after all…..”

    But I am sick of the enabling of the situations we all face who “remain” by those who pimp her out for their own profit… I can’t fix the schools system, I can’t fix the roads ………. but I can show up who are the enablers……. not that it will do any good because as you say
    we get the bottom of the barrel and the bottom of the barrel just survive .. they for the most part have no ownership in this town , physically or psychologically and so they don’t care who the enablers are ….. but at least it will be documented …………… the bottom is falling out of the barrel I would like to see this town turn around but I think I will be dead before that happens – fast approaching my sell by date and this house will turn into another “rental.” ………

  • 18. Brian  |  June 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I understand your fustration. The problem as I see it is that the city, along with the schools spend all their efforts trying to deal with the symptoms rather than the real cause of the problems. I would agree that licensing the rental industry has some validity as long as there is a solid and somewhat documented plan to improve all of the housing, and not to just collect some hidden tax to keep a few more city employees working.

    One thing that I have noticed it that the politicos seem have have no problem taking credit for spending money on any sort of project, but don’t think twice about borrowing the money and the fact that at some point it is going to have to be repaid.

  • 19. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I agree they are like the guy trying to plug the hole in the dike with his thumb….. the leaks just keep on coming….. I still think the F word is futility and we can can show the cause of the disease all day long but I think we just end up running in place and slowly going backwards…………

    I can just do what I can in my little corner………

  • 20. Brian  |  June 24, 2012 at 11:45 am

    There is a dog and pony show that is going to occur at city hall tomorrow. The meeting is said to be about the 1/2% income tax increase the city has proposed so the city can borrow 20 million dollars and bring back a parks department.

    Nobody that we elected is going to talk about the real issue of how the city doesn’t have enough money to pay its bills. Possibly half of the 5.3 million that the increase is going to create is actually for paying the same old bills that have gotten the residents nothing!

    My belief is that if the city is going to propose something that creates 5.3 million dollars worth of revenue per year, the city shouldn’t have to borrow against that money. That’s a big ass chuck of money every year.

    The city could propose that the first 5 million a year gets used for yearly investments in “pay as you go” road improvement projects and that the remainder gets used for park IMPROVEMENT projects. Dollar per dollar improvements to our infrastructure with none of the money getting lost financing projects.

    That’s 20 million dollars worth of road improvement projects over four years and 1.2 million in park improvement projects over the same time. The city could fashion the legislation so that it doesn’t get comingled with the general fund and limit the tax proposal for four years. I would actually support the levy if it was worded that way but it won’t happen.

    The politicos think they are smarter than us and know damn well that the levy is nothing more than a means to borrow and spend more. The politicos think that as long as they don’t have to actually say the words that they have disguised their real intentions. All I can think of at this moment is Jack Nickolson sitting at council chambers blaring out, “You can’t handle the truth!”.

    Why would the city borrow 20 million dollars when it could pay as they go because the projects are most likey going to occur over four years anyways? The reason is that none of the people we have elected have the balls to tell us the truth!

    This is the EXACT SAME PROBLEM that we have with the school system. They believe they can borrow themselves out of debt.

  • 21. Darla Cuevas  |  June 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Why are you only picking out the bad houses? there is old houses that have been taking care of. and some are rentels
    I would like to reed good things about that home.

  • 22. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Darla – The good rentals and older homes in my neighborhood and other areas in “Old Lorain” are NOT the problem and there are many but unfortunately they are in the “minority” we have a glut of poor rentals and abused homes in this neighborhood and all that goes with them.

    There is an old saying “ take care of the negative and gthe positive will take care of itself”

    Mark Teleha on his blog
    did some very nice posts with the Shame it AND the FAME series. there are other blogs that picture Lorain such as

    As for this blog I would dearly love to write about how Lorain is preserving her historic older homes – such as the Wilford Batrtenfeld house, the Gilmore house, the parsonage , the Admiral King house and that “landlords with the plethora of rentals are making my neighborhood and Ward two a better place BUT they aren’t so I cannot sugar coat sorry.

  • 23. Brian  |  June 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    “The condition of the housing is that of the neighborhood”. The social fibers that made up many of Lorain’s older neighborhoods is lost, just like Lorain’s history.

    Rebuilding the neighborhoods is going to take more than the city just passing legislation and creating a blanket resolution that makes the problems go away.

    In my opinion, Lorain’s neighborhoods are so far past the tipping point in many places it is going to take an aggressive Housing Department along with investments by the city before revitilization can occur.

    The public has seen so many broken campaign promises with past levies and promised services that it may take the city actually taking the lead before confidence is restored that it is “safe” to come out and become an active member of the community.

  • 24. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I agree Brian I do believe we are past the tipping point and are literally in free fall…… I m not sure the City of Lorain and Lorain City schools can “fix” our problems ….

    we have become a “saturated solution of negatives ” far outweighing the positives.

    How do we change that – no idea- I suppose we could take an area like Charleston Village that still has some assets lake front- some history, some room for development cordon it off figurately and start a block by block “plan” to bring it back and hope that it would start rippling out to the downtown.. basically start again where it all started but …can’t see that happening …….

  • 25. Brian  |  June 25, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I think you hit the nail dead on with the last comment, but the problem is that the “folks that keep bringing up eight differant blight studies will use whatever they can to strike any ideas down that are not their own”.

    The way I see it is that the city really doesn’t do anything because they claim they are broke and since they are AFRAID to risk appearing to fail, they do nothing.

  • 26. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

    It is like my husband’s basement – it is overwhelmning – after I nag long enough and loud so he makes a start in one corner and we get all gung ho and start throwing out stuff ( which breaks his heart 😉 and then we miss a few days due to “lack of energy ” and by the time I venture down those steps again he has redistributed the junk to fill the space he cleared……. and it is never ending……. just like Lorains problem ……. needs a clean sweep.but no money …. no ideas no willpower…. no vision……. and those that nag are becoming silent…..

    I love this old house but it is worth more in architectual salvage than as a a home .I don’t think I could bear the thought of it deteriorating into a slum after I die .I am going to tell Nikki to dismantle it for salvage and give the lot to the city for their land bank……
    they can have the basement too!!!!

  • […] So yes , I am personally holding your “business” somewhat culpable for this situation on 1714 Long and other situations (eg. criminal element renters- can you say background check) that have happened with your “product” and others of your ilk – morally at the very least. […]

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